Russell Wilson’s unhappiness has not gone unnoticed around the NFL.
More than 10 teams have called the Seahawks to inquire about Wilson’s availability, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, in the days and weeks following Wilson’s public comments about his desire for the Seahawks to improve in multiple areas entering 2021. Thursday’s report from The Athletic detailing a rift between Wilson and the Seattle coaching staff only takes this topic further.
It seems Wilson’s displeasure with the Seahawks begins with their resistance to making things conducive for his success as a passer. After starting the season hot with Wilson leading the charge, a shift back to coach Pete Carroll’s preference to a more conservative approach saw the Seahawks offense downshift, and the season ended with Seattle unable to find a proper cruising speed, falling to the Rams on Super Wild Card Weekend.
Wilson spent a good chunk of his Walter Payton Man of the Year media tour speaking of his frustrations with his current situation in Seattle, where he believes he’s hit too often and should be protected better, but also wants Carroll’s staff to put the ball in his hands and trust him to deliver. More dropbacks are going to result in more pressures, hurries and hits, making for a delicate balancing act and a situation in which it might be difficult to please Wilson.
It’s also a demonstration of a highly paid, influential quarterback exercising some of his power. The Seahawks aren’t in a position to rebuild at all, with Carroll at 70 years old and Wilson having turned 32 in November. No one involved wants to reset, and with a salary cap tighter than usual and Seattle without first-round picks due to the Jamal Adams trade — another move made to win now — there isn’t a ton of room for offseason maneuvering.
Add in the reported rift that is creeping toward chasm between Wilson and the Seahawks staff, and you have an intriguing, if not worrisome situation in Seattle — perhaps even sleepless.
Wilson has a no-trade clause in his contract, meaning if it came to a point where the two sides needed to part ways, the Seahawks would be limited, if not handcuffed in their ability to strike a deal that works out for both parties. As NFL Network’s Steve Wyche astutely noted Thursday during NFL NOW, the Seahawks have encountered this type of drama before, and it has almost always resulted in a significant change (think: Richard Sherman to San Francisco, or Earl Thomas’ departure) after the next season was complete.
So we’re probably headed nowhere fast, but this flame doesn’t appear to be close to simmering quite yet. We might be hearing about Wilson’s displeasure for some time to come before reaching a resolution.
Again, winning cures all. But Wilson wants to cook his way to victory — and the burner is starting to heat up quite a bit.
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